The past weekend’s significant rain event led to remarkably low fire activity and high humidities on the number of wildfires burning in Douglas County.
The National Weather Service in Medford reported that its rain gauge at Roseburg Municipal Airport recorded 1.61 inches of rain between Saturday and Sunday, more than the region had recorded from June 1 through Friday (1.49 with trace counts). Meteorologists assigned to the Rough Patch and Devil’s Knob complexes of fires estimated anywhere from 2-2.5 inches of rain on those fires, which led to virtually zero growth in acreage.
The oldest of those fires, the Jack Fire burning 20 miles east of Glide, saw no growth over the weekend and remains at 55% containment, with just four firefighters assigned on patrol status.
The nearby Rough Patch Complex, a collection of lightning-caused fires burning both to the north and south of the Jack Fire, did see moderate growth between Monday and Tuesday morning, increasing nearly 100 acres to 50,351 with 41% containment. The largest of those fires, the Chaos Fire, showed the most significant growth, gaining 52 acres to 28,748 total.
The Chaos Fire threatened structures in the historic Bohemian Mining District. Due to the threat of falling trees on access roads, it was unclear how much if any damage had been sustained near the mine.
All evacuation advisories for the Rough Patch Complex and Jack Fire had been lifted as of Tuesday morning.
Further south, the Devil’s Knob Complex consisting of 43 lightning-caused fires showed very little growth between Monday and Tuesday. The complex as a whole grew 66 acres to 69,937 acres.
The largest fire on that complex, the Smith Fire, increased 57 acres to 49.067 and remains at 28% containment. The Big Hamlin Fire added 11 acres, but is now at 100% containment according to the Pacific Northwest Team 2 incident command team. A Level 2 “Be Set” evacuation advisory remains in place for all homes on Ash Valley Road and all homes on South Umpqua Road from Dumont Creek Campground to the 28000 block of South Umpqua Road.
Fire officials are warning that increasing temperatures — the National Weather Service predicts that central Douglas County could reach 90 degrees Tuesday — and lower humidities will lead to increased fire activity throughout the week. The region is also forecast to hit 90 degrees Friday.